Monday, February 28, 2011
This is not about the show or a missing purse.This is about the feeling of being without an anchor or a place of belonging.This is something in your gut that is churning because you don't see that life has any purpose.An empty space in your center.
I left my Church on that warm June day in 1969 while walking over the bridge that traverses the Belt Parkway in Queens,N.Y.The priest at St.Clare's had just asked for prayers to change the hearts of the communists in Vietnam and I thought,"That is ridiculous.That will never happen.Look around,what has prayer ever changed?"As I walked alone,hair blowing in the warm breeze,cars zooming down below me,I liberated myself from superstition.I felt free,very smart and courageous.My intention from then on was to throw off anything that didn't fit with what I experienced and not to believe what others told me.I floated home,a new me.
When I was 8, my sister 11 ,our parents went out for the evening.In our boisterous play, we broke a juice glass by rolling it down off the top of the sofa.Terrified of the out-of-proportion scream fest we would have to endure, we knelt down and prayed,as we were taught, that it would be whole by morning.It wasn't.Well,now.
A few years after my Queens liberation,my family of four lived in California.I was still doing my own thing and one morning I woke up and felt this terrible,gaping hole inside me.Something essential to me was missing.I am so grateful I didn't look in all the wrong places before I uttered a simple prayer;"Lord,if You are there,help me."
I am not going to make something up and say I saw a bright light or even at that moment received great peace.What I do remember 40 years later is that I felt I had taken a step of some kind although I wasn't sure what it was.A few weeks later, I casually picked up a book in a store and found it was on faith.As if the words were highlighted,they spoke to me. That began a journey that has brought peace,joy,purpose and great hope to this one life that I have been given.
As to answered prayers?Out of many answered, I think of two, said many years ago.The first was about a boy that I adored in my neighborhood.I prayed when I was fifteen that he would be in my life and after 50 years he is,still.The other was about that broken glass.We prayed,not because we cared about the cheap glass, but because we didn't want to get into trouble,and looking back,miraculously,we didn't.
All prayer is answered, in my view.That's why I keep a journal;to keep track of what my Lord is up to and how He answers in His time and way.
This journey has not been without twists, detours and grave challenges but I have
never felt alone or without purpose.
I had to write this after I saw the attached picture on another website.Yes, the gentle shepherd had nothing else to do on that December day in California in 1971 but reach his warm hand down over the edge and take this small lamb into His loving arms.I can never express my gratitude in the language we have been given.